Despite a severe crash in the Cascade Classic, Trek-Livestrong’s Taylor Phinney believes he can race again this season and hasn’t ruled out racing with Lance Armstrong’s new team, RadioShack, in the future.
Phinney crashed on stage four of the Cascade Classic on Friday and suffered severe concussion. He spent a night in hospital and will face up to four weeks off the bike.
"I don’t remember anything about the fall," he said. "I can recall breakfast and the first part of the race, which started on a climb. I was holding my position at the front with Bjorn [Selander] on my wheel and after that there’s no recollection in my mind as to what happened."
"The next thing I remember was waking up in the emergency room at the hospital three or four hours later. One of my teammates said he saw me flying through the air."
Phinney who spent the night on an intravenous drip to help his recovery has crashed heavily three times this year, hitting his head and splitting his helmet on all of those occasions. "It’s probably the worst fall I’ve had. I’ve never had to spend a night in hospital after a crash."
His next scheduled race is the Tour of Utah, which was part of his programme building up to a possible crack at the world championships in October. However a start for Phinney in Utah will depend on the speed of his recovery.
"The doctors told me not to race for another four weeks, but Utah is in three. Of course I’ll take all necessary precautions but I’m not going to let it ruin the rest of my season," Phinney added.
If ruled out of the race Phinney’s season will have its first major hitch. He won the world pursuit title this spring and then captured victory in the under 23 Paris-Roubaix. "I’ve had a good season so far, but if it does ruin it I can console myself with what I’ve done this year."
Phinney signed for Trek-Livestrong last September and has two more years on his contract. The team, which is owned by Lance Armstrong, is a hotbed for under 23 talent, with riders from the US, Australia and Japan amongst its roster.
With Armstrong announcing his new team for 2010, RadioShack, at the Tour de France on Thursday, links with an immediate move to the pro ranks for Phinney have begun to surface. Both Armstrong and Phinney have trained together several times and it’s no secret that Armstrong’s influence was a major factor in recruiting Phinney to Trek-Livestrong.
However Phinney doesn’t know whether his future lies with RadioShack. "I really don’t know, as I’ve not talked about it with him. I’ve signed with Livestrong for the next two years but I’m sure there will be some possibilities in the future. But I only found out about RadioShack yesterday. They are definitely a random sponsor but it’s great that they are sponsoring a team. They’re a big company and that’s cool for cycling."